May 18-24 is Older Adults Mental Health Week

A message from the Mental Health Association of the Capital Region

As America’s population ages, the need for mental and behavioral health services continues to increase. Psychologists play a critical role in addressing these needs by treating the mental and behavioral health problems of older adults, particularly those living in underserved communities. During this difficult economic period these services are more critical than ever. According to a recent Census Bureau report, an astonishing 15.1 percent of American adults over the age of 65 are living in poverty (2012). The shortage of psychologists specializing in treating these underserved older adults needs to be addressed.

This week is dedicated to promoting mental health among the aging community and preventing discrimination against older adults who have mental health problems and other disabilities. To learn more, visit the American Psychological Association’s website.

OlderAdultsMentalHealthWeekGroupDid you know that older adults have the highest rates of suicide?

In 2013, the highest suicide rate (19.1) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (18.6) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2013, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 10.9.

In an effort to help older adults and their caregivers understand the healthy aging and mental health literacy, the Mental Health Association of the Capital Region (MHACR) offers a course titled “Healthy ABCs: Older Adult Health Literacy Program”. The course was developed by the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition and funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, and the University of Pittsburgh. To book a training please contact MHACR at 717.236.3300 or